Finally, a new licensing regime is proposed in the US to allow fintech firms to enter the national banking industry.  Fintech firms in the US currently are not regulated federally and need to obtain state-by-state approvals, with money transmission subject to different regulation in 48 separate states.  This has impeded the growth of fintech firms in the US. 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau within the US Treasury with responsibility for national bank regulation, has published a draft supplement to the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual that provides details regarding proposed acceptance and evaluation of applications from fintech companies for issuance of Special Purpose National Bank (SPNB) charters.  The grant of a SPNB charter would permit fintech businesses to enter the federal banking system in the US.  The SPNB charter for fintech businesses proposed by the OCC permits a national bank to pay checks or lend money (or modern equivalents of those activities), provided the bank does not take deposits and is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

The OCC is inviting comments on the draft supplement up to 14 April 2017.